What Does Noel Mean?

Pastor DaronCrossLife Blog

We hear the word “noel” only during the Christmas season. Usually it is sung. Actually, I can’t remember ever using it in a sentence. “Hey honey, let’s grab some noel today.” Nope. 

But it appears in some of the best Christmas songs, such as The First Noel and Lauren Daigle and Chris Tomlin’s Noel (see below). 

What does Noel mean?

Depending on the language of origin, it has a few different root meanings. And combined, they’re a bit fascinating. The French word “nouvelles” means, “news.” The English root of the word comes from the word, “nowel,” which means “shout of joy.” Go back to Latin and the word “natalis” means ”birth.” 

Merge them, as word usage tends to do, and you get “joyful news of birth.” Well, Merry Christmas!

Listen to this

Take 5 minutes today and enjoy this song called Noel sung by Christian artist Lauren Daigle. See below for some reflection questions if you’d like.


PRAYER: God, this is joyful news about Jesus’ birth! Thank you for publicizing this news for the world and for me. Make Jesus the reason for the season all around. Starting in my own heart and home. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Pay attention to the lyrics of Noel and answer these questions:

  1. What is “love incarnate?
  2. Where does the phrase “unto us a child is born” come from?
  3. Noel! Noel! Come and see what God has done. Noel. Noel. Story of amazing love.” Which meaning of “noel” do these lyrics lean into?
  4. Identify at least two names in the song that Jesus used for himself.